HUNTSVILLE, Tex. (KBTX)- In response to recent vehicle thefts, the Huntsville Police Department conducted a surveillance operation at the Bill Fick Ford dealership which resulted in the arrest of suspected car thief Christian Cruz-Ramirez.
A Craigslist scam exists in which cars on dealer lots are posted for sale by someone other than the dealer. Once a buyer is found the cars are stolen and sold to the unwary person. It was discovered the scam was occurring when a buyer in Dallas realized he had purchased a stolen truck from Bill Fick Ford. The investigation led to another unsuspecting buyer in New Mexico who was attempting to purchase a Silver GMC Denali from Bill Fick Ford’s lot through an ad on Craigslist.
On Monday, August 27, at approximately 6:26 p.m., an HPD detective was stationed at Bill Fick Ford and observed the Silver Denali being stolen. Marked HPD units responded to the area and after a short pursuit, the stolen Denali crashed on Park Road 40 as the driver fled on foot into the woods. A second suspect vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Altima, was intercepted by HPD Officer Aaron Tullar as it drove southbound on I-45 and the driver, Christian Cruz-Ramirez, was taken into custody.
The Huntsville Police Department, with assistance from the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the TDCJ Office of Inspector General, conducted an extensive search of the Park Road 40 and Highway 75 South area but were unfortunately not able to locate the second suspect.
Police Chief Kevin Lunsford, the City’s Director of Public Safety, extended his appreciation to all the agencies involved for their assistance in this operation and thanked the New Mexico and Dallas buyers for bringing this type of incident to the attention of local law enforcement. Chief Lunsford reminds citizens to research any vehicle purchase and take the necessary precautions to ensure the seller has the right to sell the vehicle. As a reminder, the Huntsville Police Department has a Safe Zone in the Department’s parking lot for the exchange of internet sales.
Christian Cruz-Ramirez was charged with Theft (Felony 3rd Degree), which is punishable with 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine and Possession of a Controlled Substance (State Jail Felony), which is punishable with 180 days to 2 years in the State Jail and up to a $10,000 fine. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.